Consumerist In NYT For Cellphone Plan Escape Tricks

Cellphone companies will probably receive an increased number of customers dying, joining the military, and moving to remote parts of America after this morning’s article, “Getting Out of a 2-Year Cellphone Contract Alive.”The piece featured one of our readers, Liza Tremblay, who said she escaped Verizon contract after reading some intel on The Consumerist.

We enjoy how cagey the cellphone spokespersons quoted in the article were. You can practically see them squirm.

This is Liza’s story as it originally ran on The Consumerist: Verizon Makes Customers Fax In Old Contract To Cancel Service Without Termination Fee

She followed the information in this post: Script For Escaping Verizon Contracts Without Fee, Based On Text Message Rate Raises.

Additional links related to canceling your cellphone without penalty, inside…


Roundup: Readers Who Canceled Their Cellphones Without Termination Fee
“A selection of posts prompted by reader’s success stories in canceling the cellphone service without early termination fee, and how they did it.”

Everything You Wanted To Know About Canceling Verizon But Were Afraid To Ask
“Step 1: Understand your rights. Verizon has changed their rates, and were obligated to issue a “Legal Notice.”

Script For Escaping Cingular Contracts Without Fee, Based On New Arbitration Clause
“Here’s step by step script for escaping your Cingular contract over the new arbitration clause, without paying a fee.”

Cingular Arbitration Escape Script Addendum
“After trying our method, Jut said: “Finally on each call they gave me some type of hurdle that I couldn’t bypass, like the need to have my original signed contract in hand, or that I needed to go into a brick-and-mortar store, or claiming the computers weren’t working to pull up information they needed.” We’ve got your handy rebuttal right here.”

Cancel Verzion By Moving to Cambodia

UPDATE: Cancel Verizon By Moving to Cambodia

Cancel Your Cellphone By Dying

So You’ve Decided To Join The Army Just To Cancel Your Cellphone

If you’ve got any questions to ask or tips to share, just drop us a line at tips@consumerist.com.

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. stillwater says:

    If you relocate outside the U.S.A, can you still get the service providers to cancel your contract ?

  2. raybury says:

    Bravo for the MSM for answering in the first paragraph the question I alway have about contract cancellations: Why did she want to cancel? By the way, the reason is kind of weak. A better tangent to my question is, What perfectly good (and real) reasons will wireless companies accept to terminate without a fee?

    For instance, I relocated and found that Sprint reception was just enough to answer, and then drop, most calls in my new apartment and in my new office. I was near the end of my contract, so I overlapped new service and cancelled Sprint when the contract ended.

    By the way, the new service was and is Verizon, about which I have almost no complaints. But I’m thinking of shifting to Cingular… when the contract ends.

  3. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Our girlfriend must be SO proud of us. Maybe she will take us out to dinner at Buddha Bar and play some Claude Challe for us. Word on the street is she enjoys menage-a-trois while listening to track five on “Happiness,” scented candles, and watching Verizon CSRs squirm. :)

  4. Calliope says:

    Okay, I’ve always been really confused on this whole “I NEEEEEEEEEEED out of my contract RIGHT NOW!” thing. Mostly because on the rare occasions that I had issues with either of the 2 cellular companies I’ve had in the past 10 years or so, they were never so awful that I NEEEEEEDed to get out right that very second.

    But okay, let’s pretend that some crazy, urgent, couldn’t possibly have seen it coming issue comes up from nowhere that causes you to NEEEEEEEEEED out of your wireless contract, and alas, it’s not one of the reasons that said company will wave your Early Termination Fee.

    Does anyone understand *why* an ETF is charged in the 1st place?

    You see, the full retail price of a phone is often over $200…sometimes WELL over $200. But most consumers pay FAR less (depending on the phone of course…BlackBerries & PDAs will cost much more), or even nothing for their phones when they agree to some form of a contract. The wireless company is making their money back on that contract. That’s why if you have a higher price plan some companies will allow you to upgrade earlier than the usual time (although going for a 1 year contract allows you to upgrade sooner for usually no more than $50 extra for the phone…alas, that usually means you can’t get BOGO offers). The higher your price plan, the sooner the company makes back their money.

    Verizon Wireless just started having new contracts with variable ETFs, I assume because they realize they’ve already made back at least some of the money they gave you off of the phone.

    I know that ETFs piss people off, but the wireless companies aren’t charging them to us just to be jerks. These companies are in it to make a profit & they’re not going to make a profit by just handing out free phones & getting nothing back for them.

    But here’s the ultimate piece of advice….

    …If you aren’t comfortable with a contract, get a Prepay service. This is also a good way to test out a new company before officially signing the contract.

    And for the love of Krom, if something goes wrong, whether it be with a prepay service or a post-pay service, give the company a chance to fix it! There are going to be bad reps in any large (and many small) companies. This is a terrible fact of life, but there it is. Try to be patient and see it from the point of view of a company that doesn’t want to lose the money they’ve invested in getting you as a customer. Just keep in mind that no service is perfect. Something’s going to go wrong at some point, it’s inevitable. At least give the company the opportunity to *try* to fix it.